Air Canada pilots say they will challenge anti-strike bill

Legislation sends pilots, machinists disputes to arbitration
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 03/16/2012

(Reuters) — The union representing 3,000 pilots at Air Canada says it will launch a legal challenge to Canadian government legislation preventing a strike or lockout at the airline.

Air Canada Pilots Association President Paul Strachan said in an email the union will fight the bill, which was passed by the House of Commons overnight on March 13. The email did not provide details on what form the challenge would take.

The bill, which the Senate passed on March 15, prevents the airline from locking out pilots as well as members of its machinists' union. It also prevents the two unions from striking. 

The bill sends Air Canada's contract disputes with the two unions to binding arbitration.

While the legislation was passing through Parliament, the government averted work stoppages at Air Canada temporarily by asking the Canada Industrial Relations Board to determine if the airline is an essential service. No laboujr action can be undertaken while the board is deliberating.

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